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Museum : Rocky Mount Instruments (RMI) Room : Keyboard Computer 1

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RMI Instruments
Model 100 Rock-si-chord
Model 200 Rock-si-chord
Series 300 Electra Piano and Harpsichord
Series 400 Electra Piano and Harpsichord
Series 600 Electra Piano and Rock-si-chord
Band Organ
Calliope (Model B)
Digital Keyboard 20 (DK-20)
Explorer/Explorer II
Harmonic Synthesizer
Keyboard Computer I (KC-1)
Keyboard Computer II (KC-2)
Lark Combo Organ

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RMI Keyboard Computer 1 (KC-1)

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. Manufacturer:
Rocky Mount Instruments, Inc.

Keyboard Computer 1 (KC-1)

Production period:

Quantity produced:

Famous Fingers
Who played this instrument?

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KC-1 Synthesizer

photos courtesy of The Audities Foundation.

Introduced in 1974, the Keyboard Computer was the world's first digitized portable musical keyboard instrument. The advanced technology used in the Allen Organs was incorporated into a portable case, with it's own unique voicing. There were two model manufactured in this series of instruments, which were geared towards the professional musician (The KC-1 and the KC-2). Two of the most unique features of both these instruments were the card reader and the transposer, each being discussed below.

The KC-1 was introduced in 1974 and was available with or without lighted push button voicing stops. The instrument had three audio channels, each output level adjusted by its own expression pedal. Channels one and two were controlled by the voices on the stop panel, while channel three was a special white noise effect The instrument had a 61 note keyboard and was housed in a plywood case covered in black vinyl, similar to the model 300B.

The transposer allowed the user to electronically shift the keyboard a musical fifth up, or a musical seventh down. This feature could be accomplished by using the pitch bender pedal. The card reader feature allowed the user to add four additional musical voices to the instruments twenty-nine fixed voices. This was accomplished by inserting pre programmed tonal cards, available from the factory. This model was discontinued in 1975, when the KC-2 was introduced. The list price of the instrument was $4495.

[written by Tom Emerick, Allen Organ Company]

Famous Fingers
Who Played This Instrument?

Jean-Michel Jarre

[Let us know if you know who should be on this list.]

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